Things to Do

Carbondale is known as the “Basecamp for Adventure” and it is a well-deserved title! Below you will find information about local activities, food, drinks, music, shopping, arts and day trips- enough to keep you busy (or relaxed) for several days at least!


Check out Hiking Project website to see more information and other trail options.

In or near Cdale

  • Red Hill (moderate)
  • Lorax (easy, good for running)
  • Perham Creek (moderate)
  • Avalanche Creek (moderate)


  • Arbaney-Kittle (challenging, Basalt)
  • Scout Trail (moderate, Glenwood)
  • Richmond Ridge (easy, top of Aspen Mountain)

The ones you’ve already heard about:

  • Hanging Lake (short but steep, in Glenwood Canyon)
  • Maroon Bells (easy, Aspen)


The options are endless, but here are a few favorites!

Road Rides
In order of easy to more difficult:

  • Crystal River Trail (7 miles each way)
  • Along the Rio Grande Trail either direction. Glenwood is 10 miles and Aspen is 30 miles from Carbondale. Note: RFTA buses can get you home if you run out of energy and can’t make it back!
  • Glenwood Canyon Trail (16 miles one way from Glenwood to Dotsero)
  • West Sopris Rd via Rio Grande Trail approx. 30 miles round-trip
  • Sunlight Ski Area via Rio Grande Trail and 4-mile road approx. 40 miles round-trip
  • Reudi Reservoir approx. 60 miles round-trip

Mountain Bike Trails
(Check out the details on MTB Project– signage and cell service not guaranteed)!

  • Prince Creek area (Carbondale)
  • Sky Mountain Park trails (Snowmass)
  • Grandstaff trail (Glenwood)


We recommend Elk Mountain Expeditions for their small groups and personal service! They also offer SUP and Duckie trips (our personal favorite. Tell them we sent you!


Dandelion Inn guests will receive 10% off at the River Valley Ranch golf course – just mention the Dandelion Inn when you book your tee time!


Alpine Skiing
The Aspen Snowmass system includes four mountains to choose from! Aspen (Ajax), Snowmass, Highlands and Buttermilk. Snowmass is approx. 30-40 minutes from Carbondale, Highlands and Buttermilk are 45, and Aspen is 45 minutes- 1hour (depending on driving conditions).

Sunlight ski area is also approx. 30 minutes away on 4-mile road in Glenwood Springs, and is a locals favorite for the relaxed vibe and affordable ticket prices!

Nordic Skiing
Carbondale has the best X-C trail network in the valley, and it’s free! Spring Gulch Trails Center, with 21 K of trails, 6 miles west of town: no dogs, no snowshoeing, no services.

Or you can head up-valley to the Aspen Cross Country Center, located on the golf course just past Buttermilk ski area.

Hot  Springs

There are towels under the stair for guests to use.

Penny Hot Springs Free, public natural hot springs on the side of Highway 133, ten miles south of Carbondale (look for the large pullout on the left). The trail down to the river is steep but short. BYOB and snacks! No services.

Glenwood Hot Springs Resort  Huge pool with lots of space for lounging and playing, great water slides and spa services.

Iron Mountain Hot Springs offers 16 natural mineral hot springs soaking pools and a freshwater family pool with jetted spa. All surrounded by mountain views along the Colorado River in West Glenwood. Buy your tickets now to get a 10% discount.

Avalanche Ranch, Cabins & Hot Springs  offers 3 natural mineral hot springs pools in the beautiful Crystal River Valley just a few miles south of Carbondale. Reservations required.


The Roaring Fork Valley is home to two award-winning rivers: the Roaring Fork and the Frying Pan. Check out one of the local fly shops for more info: Alpine Anglers or Crystal Fly Shop.


True Nature Healing Arts Center
We tell every single guest to at least walk through the True Nature Healing Arts building and gardens, located on 3rd Street ½ block west of Inn. This place is special- with a café, modern “kiva” for yoga and spa services, and gardens including a reflexology path. You can also get there via the Rio Grande Trail- look for their sign!

Rio Grande Trail
The Rio Grande Trail is a 42-mile paved multi-use path that extends from Glenwood Springs to Aspen. It passes through Carbondale right next to the Inn! You can walk, run, ride (horses too!) and even cross-country ski, most of it alongside the Roaring Fork river.

Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is America’s only mountain-top theme park above Glenwood Springs, offering cave tours, thrill rides, dining, children’s activities, special events and more. The new Glenwood Gondola will enhance your adventure with a faster ride to and from the park. Buy your tickets in advance to get a 10% discount and complete the online e-waiver to whiz through check in at the base of the gondola.

Food, Drinks & Music

The favorites. There are more, if you stick around long enough, just ask Kelley or Jon for recommendations!

If you need more than the Nespresso service we offer at the Inn head east on Main Street 2 blocks to Bonfire Coffee where you can build your own breakfast sandwich or enjoy lunch along with a great cuppa joe.

The Village Smithy is hands down the best place in town for a home-style breakfast, and they’re open for lunch too. On Main Street 1 block east of the Inn (look for the grassy front yard).

Lunch downtown:
The Beat (closed Sun/Mon)
White House pizza
Fat Belly burgers
Peppinos (closed Sun)
Senor Taco
Granetta Panini: food cart with a few seats, and the best sandwiches in town! Tues-Fri 7am to 2pm (closed in February)

Lunch a short drive away:
Dos Gringos

Dinner downtown:
The Way Home
Phat Thai
White House pizza
Fat Belly burgers
Mi Casita

Dinner a short drive away:
The Goat
The Pig


All within walking distance of the Inn- no driving required!

Marble Distillery and Inn
The Black Nugget
Carbondale BeerWorks


Steve’s Guitars 19 N. 4th Street (2 blocks from the Inn) If there is a gig at Steve’s while you’re in town you really should go. Steve’s looks like a guitar shop because the venue’s walls are completely covered with guitars of all types. They even hang from the ceiling! The room holds about 40 people, and there are no advance ticket sales- just show up and pay $20-$25 for an incredible show. Shows usually start at 8:30pm.

Also check out Carbondale BeerWorks and The Black Nugget.

Shopping, Art & Day Trips

Locals would rather be outside than indoors buying stuff, but sometimes there are things you really do need.

Check out Ragged Mountain Sports for a large selection of quality used sportswear and equipment.

Independence Run and Hike has a great selection of shoes and clothing and can offer advice on local trails (as well as evaluate your feet for the best fit)!

Cdale also boasts two excellent bike shops offering both rental and repair services: Aloha Mountain Cyclery and the Carbondale location of Basalt Bike and Ski, both conveniently located on Hwy 133.

Don’t own it or didn’t bring it? These shops make it easy for you to avoid the hassle of bringing your own stuff or trying out something new!

Bikes (road/mtb/fat): Aloha Mountain Cyclery and Basalt Bike and Ski (locations in both Basalt and Carbondale)

Nordic Skis: Independence Run and Hike, Ragged Mountain Sports

Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs): Ragged Mountain Sports

For “regular” clothing and other goods check out: Harmony Scott Jewelry: right next door to the Inn,  and just west on Main Street is Lulubelle: Women’s clothing,  and Miser’s Mercantile: Secondhand clothing and home accessories.


Carbondale is one of 11 towns in the State with a designated Creative District, and our local arts organization, Carbondale Arts, is at the center of it all. Check out their downtown headquarters at The Launchpad. Information about the current artworks on display downtown can be found here, and there are several works along the Rio Grande Trail ARtWay. The Studio for Arts and Works (SAW) houses over 20 Artists studios and is open to the public- just stop by and see who’s doing what!

Day Trips


Glenwood Springs




Crested Butte





Bristlecone Mountain Sports: A one-stop shop (and the only location) for great outdoor-oriented clothing and sports equipment

Midland Clothing Co.: upscale women’s and menswear

Hollyanne: Women’s clothing and home accessories

Loft: Women’s clothing

There are LOTS of places to eat in Willits (including the only Whole Foods in the valley): check out the guide here:
Shopping and Dining in Basalt


The Frying Pan Valley and Reudi Reservoir


Heirloom’s: High quality second-hand men’s and women’s clothing

Midland Shoe


Two River Café


Woody Creek

Aspen and Snowmass